One: A Celebration of U2 2012 Year in Review
It seems like just yesterday… It was November 22, 2004 when I first saw a brilliantly colored commercial advertising the revolutionary iPod. Even more spectacular for me was that the commercial featured U2 and their new song, Vertigo, from “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” which had just been released that day. I was in awe when Bono hit the high notes at the end of the chorus. What a cool song, and as usual, an awesome melody line. Well, it was that commercial that inspired the birth of “The U2 Incident” (later to be known as One: A Celebration of U2). I cannot believe that it has been EIGHT YEARS!
So much has happened in our lives and in the lives of the wonderful friends we have made during this musical journey. Many joys and victories and a few profound losses have molded and shaped us along the way. As fun and rewarding as it is to perform music from a band as inspiring as U2, it has been equally rewarding to watch people we’ve met at our shows find that special someone, get married, have kids, discover a career path, buy their first houses, etc. Sometimes our band has been the catalyst for those relationships coming together which makes it all the more amazing!
2012 was yet another special year for One. We continued to stretch our presence across the great states of America and found ourselves in new venues and new landscapes. A few of the highlights are as follows:
In March we performed for the first time in the upper peninsula of Michigan at a very cool concert club – Upfront & Company. The 12-hour drive didn’t seem so long as we strategized for the summer, watched movies, recited lines from various movies, slept, and rehearsed with Rick accompanying on his acoustic-electric and Bob beating on the back of the seat. Good times. Friday night we did our “Alternavox” show, and Saturday we did the “One” show. It is so much fun to be so versatile! Thank you Sammy Free for the suggestion to diversify!
March also brought the annual McKelvey St. Patrick’s party on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. I have said it before: we have performed at some pretty cool venues but none rival the sheer intensity, the solidarity, the high level of exuberance, celebration… the “one-ness” if you will, of the great McKelvey clan! Dave and Melanie, thanks again, and we’ll see you soon!
March also gave us our first weekend of “marathon-gigging.” THREE SHOWS IN 24 HOURS IN 2 STATES! That was our tour of the three Claddagh Irish Pubs in Toledo, East Lansing, and Columbus! That was an adventure. Set up, play, tear down, set up, play, tear down, set up, play tear down…whew! But the Columbus crowd was especially amazing. Many people traveled a great distance to see the show, and for that we are grateful. Special thanks to the Rinks for bringin’ it!
May was very special for us because we got to not only perform at The Breitenbach Wine Cellars national Dandelion Festival for the first time, but we also got to perform at their new amphitheatre. Many greats (like Johnny Cash) have performed on that stage in the past! If you haven’t been to Breitenbach, you are missing out on lots of fun!
Another highlight was performing at Progressive Field’s “Rally in the Alley” before two Indians games. We even had a guest with us on stage; Slider sat in on drums as we did an improv blues session. One more unique story for the books!
From Cleveland to western NY! On a beautiful August afternoon, we found ourselves performing on a floating outdoor stage on Lake Chautauqua in Bemus Point. Along with amphitheater seating on the lake bank, boats pull up on the other side of the stage to watch! Absolutely the best! We even had some tenacious fans jump out of their boats and swim up to get the t-shirts we passed out.
Our annual Labor Day concert at Breitenbach Wine Cellars had us playing in the new pavilion at the top of the amphitheatre hill overlooking the vineyards. Thank you to all who were not deterred by the rain. We all rocked on, and had a great time. It’s always bittersweet as we say goodbye to the summer season, but it’s so special to do so with our Breitenbach family. I think it’s been 5 years in a row! Blessing to two of the most generous people we know, Anita Davis and Jen Kohler. They always make us feel like we’re “better than the real thing!” Thank you, ladies!
Those were some of the highlights of 2012, and we are dreaming it up all over again for 2013. We are planning some extended tours this summer to parts east, south, and northwest. We hope to enhance our stage show as well, but will save those surprises for when we all come together again. Until then, may The Lord bless you and your families in 2013. There are many challenges ahead for our country, so keep your leaders in prayer, be crazy generous in all you do and to whom you do it to, and be like the psalmist that Bono quoted in “40:”
“I waited patiently for the Lord, He inclined and heard my cry, He lifted me up out of the pit, out of the miry clay, and I will sing…sing a new song, I will sing…sing a new song!”
Grace and peace,